10 Free Tools For Author Branding And Book Marketing

Free Tools For Author Branding And Book Marketing

Successfully self-publishing a book always relies on having the best tools for author branding and book marketing.

It’s a huge time investment to write a book. But equally, the time you invest in promoting yourself and your book or books can also be demanding.

When is the best time to start? Yesterday!

Publishing a book without planning and preparing your branding and promotion beforehand is never a good move—plan to have everything in place before your book launch.

The differences between author branding and book marketing

Author branding is about you, the author, as a personality or an expert.

You want to build trust and recognition and earn the loyalty of your target audience.

Typically, the best way to establish yourself is to build your online presence with a website and blog and leverage social media.

You don’t need to take over the world. However, your author brand can help attract likely readers of your genre without focusing specifically on your books.

Book marketing and promotion, on the other hand, is specific to your individual book or series.

You want to drive sales and awareness of an individual book.

The most common ways are advertising, reviews, author appearances, giveaways, and social media promotion focused on the book.

You can think of author branding like building a house: It’s the foundation on which everything rests.

But book marketing is like decorating the house: It focuses on making your current book appealing and visible to attract immediate interest.

In a nutshell, using tools for author branding is a long-term project, while book marketing is a short-term exercise.


Gathering the tools you need

For self-publishing authors, the majority of book and ebook sales occur online.

Amazon is the biggest by far in this respect, so a lot of your focus will be on Amazon.

That’s why online tools are critical in helping you attract potential readers.

However, there are many other online avenues for readers and book buyers, such as Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble, to name a few.

Considering this aspect should be part of your marketing and promotion plans.

But tools are only beneficial if they save time or make a task easier.

You can find hundreds of free and paid tools for writing, publishing, and book promotion. However, perhaps only a few will be suitable or useable for you.

The best approach is to focus on the tasks in your workflow and see if you can find an app or tool that will suit the purpose.

For example, if you want a note-taking app, there are so many to choose from, but you only need one.

Perhaps you already have a default app on your phone or computer to do the job.

When you are selective, you might find that you only need a handful of tools for author branding and book marketing.

If you already have some that are working well for you, that’s great.

But if you think you need a little more help, the list of tools and sites below might give you some ideas.

Even if only one is ideal for you, it could make your work a little easier.


1. Your author website or blog (Free & paid)

Today, most websites include a blog. It is the foundation stone for all your branding and promotion.

The best choice for new authors who want to establish an online presence is to use a free blogging platform.

The most popular are WordPress and perhaps Wix.

It’s a big decision because it is not easy to change once you select your platform. So, consider your options carefully before you jump in.


2. Amazon Author Central (Free)

Follow the author

When you plan to self-publish with Amazon KDP, set up your author page on Amazon Author Central before publishing.

One of the most important features is setting up your “Follow The Author” button.

You can also modify your author profile, edit your book descriptions, and add editorial reviews.

It’s a totally free tool, so make the best use of it.


3. Start an email subscriber list (Free & paid)

mailchimp logo

The most powerful asset an author can have is a mailing list of subscribers.

It takes time and effort to achieve, but it’s well worth it because you can communicate directly with your potential readers.

However, you can’t simply collect addresses and send bulk emails from your email account. You will likely be banned as a spammer quite quickly.

Using a service to manage your subscribers and bulk emails is the correct way.

MailChimp is probably the most popular tool because it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers, which is usually plenty for a new author.

But there are plenty of other services you can choose from.

However, like your website platform, changing your email service provider can take time and effort. So be sure the one you select is right for you.


4. Supercharge your email signature (Free)

Email singatures logo

While talking about email, like everyone, you probably send a lot of emails every day.

Making the most of your email signature is a terrific way to boost your author profile.

You can find a few free tools online to help you, but for this example, I used Email signatures.

Here’s a quick idea of what you can do.

Email signature example

You can add as little or as much information as you want and select from a nice range of templates.

But if you want to include your book cover, select one with an image holder to suit a book.

This is an easy winner when it comes to tools for author branding.


5. Image creation (Free & paid)

You’ll always need to create images for your blog posts, ebook cover mockups, or social media headers.

There’s pretty much no doubt that Canva is now the most popular free online app for creating images.

All you need is a free account to get started.


6. Stock images (Free)

You can find many sites that offer free stock images and photos.

Personally, I mainly use Pixabay for free vector graphics.

However, with the advent of AI image creation, there are limitless possibilities.

While many AI image tools are not free, you can use Bing Copilot to create free AI images.


7. Book mockups (Free)

You’ll undoubtedly need 3D images of your books for your promotional activities.

If you do a search online, you’ll find plenty of apps to help you.

But the one I use is DIY Book Covers.

Here’s a quick example of what you can do.

3D composite book covers

It’s easy to use with plenty of options and free. What more do you need?


8. Topics to write about (Free & paid)

It’s no use having a blog if you don’t write blog posts or articles.

But constantly coming up with new ideas is often a challenge.

My go-to app when I need ideas is Answer The Public.

All you need to do is pop in an idea; the app will give you hundreds of ideas and variations.

Here’s a quick example using fantasy books as the topic.

Answer the public

It gave me 52 questions that I could use as a topic to write a new post.

If you don’t like a wagon wheel, you can also get the ideas in list or table form.


9. Goodreads (Free)

I have to include Goodreads in my list because it is the only social media platform that is totally dedicated to books and reading.

That makes it a must for authors.

However, it’s a site that has experienced a few problems over the years with comment and review moderation.

Okay, you and your books should be there, but it’s probably wise to take a low profile when it comes to comments and interactions with reviewers.


10. Social media (Free)

Reddit for author branding

Sure, use Facebook, and especially a Facebook page. Twitter (X) is another possibility, along with Instagram and TikTok.

But for me, I prefer Reddit because it is so well moderated, and posting and commenting is restricted to your choice of specific SubReddit topics.

However, the one thing to know is that it is not a platform for self-promotion.

Including promotional links to your blog posts or books on Amazon is generally considered a no-no on the platform.

However, there are a few SubReddits that allow book promotion, like this one.

So how can it help you? It’s a very good platform for author branding.

You need to include links to your website and social media platforms in your profile.

If you are active, posting thoughtful and insightful comments and new posts, people will want to know more about you.

That’s when users will check your profile to find your links.



You can have all the tools and services in the world, but they won’t help you unless you plan well.

When you set up all the tools for author branding only after you publish your book, you will waste all the time you should use for book promotion.

As I said earlier, you need to build the house first before you can start decorating it.

The best time to start branding and promoting yourself is before you finish or even start writing a book.

You can publish a book in no time at all. However, it takes a new author a long time to gain traction and attention.

Yes, get all the tools you need, but plan well ahead to use them to succeed.


Related Reading: Publisher Rocket Review – Is It Good Value For Authors?

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